Whether you are a new startup, a mid-level corporation, or a global Fortune 500 company, you cannot remain competitive without using social media. It is vital that you use it to create a proper corporate image, one that shows who you are, what your principles are, and what your ethics are. This is something that Matthew F Knouff has focused on, helping companies build a proper brand.

Understanding Brand Images

Creating a brand image is about ensuring people see you for who you are. Social media can be either your biggest friend or your biggest enemy in this. People can interact with you and about you through these channels with ease, whether that it is to share positive information, or to complain about you. You must focus on developing a social brand image that is sustainable and positive. And this means sticking to the rules. Matt Knouff has developed a number of key strategies to achieve this.

Don’t Mix Corporate and Personal

Employees of a company should have a social media profile, but a business should have a page. These should be two different things. Profiles are for one to one, human interaction, pages should be about shared issues. You should not mix the two, even if you are a one-man operation.

Your Image Should Be Responsible and Ethical

Secondly, you have to make sure you are professional, responsible, and ethical at all times. Associate yourself only with the right type of people. And make sure you only write things that aren’t controversial.

Listen to Your Customers

Social media is about being social, and your customers want to interact with you. You need to take the things they say seriously, and you must listen to them. If they make suggestions for improvement, implement them or explain why you can’t. If the comment is positive, acknowledge it and thank the person who posted it. Similarly, if the comment is negative, you also need to acknowledge it and be thankful for it, as well as responding to the issue that is being posted.

Be careful, with negative comments, to not become defensive and go on the attack. Nobody appreciates that, and it will make you look confrontational and not in the least arrogant. You can turn a negative into a positive by being honest and respectful at all times.

The way you behave on social media says more about your personal ethics than anything else. Some companies have taken the risk of being hugely confrontational and even insulting certain customers, and it has worked for them to a degree. They have attracted a lot of attention because of it, and even sold merchandise based on it. However, unless you want to have a reputation for being aggravating and insulting, you simply cannot get away with that type of behavior – ever. Ethics are hugely important nowadays, and people want to make sure they are respected and valued by any company they decide to do business with.

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